Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju announced on Wednesday the India Meteorological Department will expand its Doppler radar network with the addition of 33 radars over the next three years, ensuring comprehensive observational coverage across the country.
During a press conference, Rijiju said India's weather forecasting systems have outperformed their global counterparts and delivered accurate results in recent years.
He emphasised the significant enhancement in India Meteorological Department's (IMD) capacity since 2014 with the installation of new equipment.
"Twenty-two Doppler radars have been successfully commissioned during this period throughout the country, all manufactured in India, showcasing our self-reliance," Rijiju said.
He urged the private sector to step forward and manufacture weather-forecasting-related equipment.
Emphasising the crucial role of the IMD in light of climate change, Rijiju underscored the need to strengthen the department's observational capacity.
"We will increase the number of Doppler radars from 35 presently to 68 in the next three years," he revealed.
A senior ministry official said the IMD is bolstering its observational network by augmenting radars, automatic weather stations, rain gauges, and satellites to enhance predictability.
"A total of 68 radars can cover the entire country. This is the optimal number of radars which will ensure there are no gap areas. ISRO will also launch some more satellites for observation," he said.
Radars are preferred over satellites because they have a higher resolution and can provide observations every 10 minutes, officials say.
Rijiju said India's weather forecasting systems and results in the past few years are better than almost all other systems in existence worldwide.
He also said states should urge their agencies to utilise the IMD's alerts.
"We cannot prevent disasters, but can mitigate them by following the IMD's warnings and taking appropriate action in time," he said.